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Cameron’s “Avatar” Pushed Back to December 2009

At one time, the summer 2009 movie season was scheduled to kickoff with two high-profile 3-D films competing over the growing, but limited number of 3-D screens, until one moved to an earlier release.  Now, the showdown will be averted altogether.

Leslie Simmons reports.

James Cameron’s 3-D feature “Avatar,” which was scheduled for Memorial Day 2009, has been pushed back seven months to December 18 — almost 12 years to the day since the director’s “Titanic” set sail.

Fox is releasing the film.

The “Avatar” move comes about four months after DreamWorks Animation said that it was moving Paramount’s 2009 release of the 3-D animated feature “Monsters vs. Aliens” from May 15 to March 27 to avoid a head-on-collision with “Avatar,” which would have had the films fighting over the nation’s 3-D screens.

By waiting until December, “Avatar” could take advantage of a steadily growing number of 3-D screens. Current estimates suggest that 4,000 3-D-ready screens will be in place in the U.S. by May 2009.

Looks like 3-D is going to go mainstream for good this time.